With the recent rise in the rate of anxiety, stress, and depression among our children and teens, we need to be reminded that a teenager needs nine hours and fifteen minutes of uninterrupted sleep for healthy growth and development. Getting less sleep than that contributes to a decrease in a teenager’s mental and physical health. It’s for that reason that experts tell us that our children and teens should never sleep with their smartphones. Along with that recommendation, researchers have been suggesting later school start times due to new research on teens and the times that are optimal for getting the right amount of sleep. It’s now documented that extra sleep can not only benefit physical health, but academic performance as well. Now, California has become the first state to mandate later school start times. Beginning in 2022, middle school classes will begin after 8am, and high school classes after 8:30am. Parents, be sure your kids are stewarding the health of their bodies with enough sleep.